PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ENGLISH DEFENCE LEAGUE BANNED FROM GATHERING IN ALTAB ALI PARK, TOWER HAMLETS, ON SEPTEMBER 7TH
MAYOR RAHMAN ACCUSES EDL OF; “DEEPLY PROVOCATIVE AND GRATUITOUS” INSULT TO LOCAL COMMUNITY
DEMANDS INTENSIFY FOR HOME SECRETARY TO ACT
Mayor Lutfur Rahman has condemned the far Right English Defence League for attempting to get permission to use Altab Ali Park following their planned march through the borough on September 7th. He has already written to the Home Secretary and local police chiefs calling for a ban on the march.
Mayor Rahman said; “This was a deeply provocative and gratuitous attempt by the EDL to use a park named after a young garment worker who was murdered by racist thugs in 1978. I am delighted that Tower Hamlets Council officers have refused permission for our park and the name of Altab Ali to be abused in this way. I am today redoubling my efforts to make sure that the Home Secretary stops the racist EDL from marching though our borough on September 7th.”
Glyn Robbins of United East End said; ‘Our unity is stronger than ever. The EDL is not welcome here. The people of Tower Hamlets will stand shoulder to shoulder to defend our community against those who seek to divide us.’
An unprecedented number of national and local figures have joined with Mayor Lutfur Rahman in calling upon the Home Secretary to ban a proposed march in Tower Hamlets being organised by the English Defence League and being planned for September 7th.
The Mayor has been joined by the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, former Cabinet Minister, Clare Short and the Chairman of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, Keith Vaz as well as leaders of Britain’s trade unions, faith group leaders and local community and campaigning groups in the biggest protest directed at the EDL.
They have also written an open letter to the Guardian newspaper, published Friday, declaring;
‘The EDL intend to bring a message of hate to our borough. They seek to exploit the shocking murder of Drummer Lee Rigby for their own destructive ends. Their target is the largest mosque in the country.
On previous protests, the EDL have abused worshippers and threatened to destroy mosques. Their protests invariably result in violence against local communities, property and the police.
In light of the recent street disturbances in Birmingham as a result of an EDL visit, we have real fears that the EDL presence will act as a catalyst for further violence, disorder and destruction of property.
We oppose anyone who would wish to incite hatred against others because of their religious belief, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. We will continue to work together to peacefully demonstrate that Tower Hamlets is ‘No Place for Hate’.
The Home Secretary must act, and act now, to ensure that the EDL is not able to continue with its tour of hate through the streets of East London on September 7th’.
The call for action has come from Mayor Lutfur Rahman and is supported by the following;
Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London
Len McCluskey General Secretary, Unite the Union
Rt Hon Clare Short